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the hall, looks down upon them, and descends
among them, and acknowledges their tributes
silently, and accepts their devotion and their
prostration before her (Paul did not move a
muscle but looked straight before him as she
passed), she went down, and crossed the hall and
bowed her head very slightly, as if she accepted
what they could not say: their tribute to her

But she stopped. There was a smell of
burning. Could they have let the Bceuf en Daube
overboil, she wondered? pray heaven not! when
the great clangour of the gong announced
solemnly, authoritatively, that all those scattered
about, in attics, in bedrooms, on little perches of
their own, reading, writing, putting the last
smooth to their hair, or fastening dresses, must
leave all that, and the little odds and ends on their
washing-tables and dressing-tables, and the novels
on the bed-tables, and the diaries which were so
private, and assemble in the dining-room for


But what have I done with my life? thought

Mrs. Ramsay, taking her place at the head of the

table, and looking at all the plates making white

circles on it.    " William, sit by me," she said,

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